The thing about Hitting On girls is that it’s embarrassing. It’s paradoxical, shameful, and sort of douchebag-ish. Are we supposed to Hit On girls? Do they want us to do that? Does that happen any more? Who draws the line? What does culture have to say? Hitting On girls seems confusing, and we’re provided mixed messages about its appropriateness. And in situations where it is indeed appropriate, we’re provided mixed messages about the appropriate way to carry it out.
Perhaps we disdain those who Hit On girls. Picture the bro and his wingman at a bar, strategizing. This picture seems predatory. Creepy. Right? But what is this other than Hitting On girls with a bit more of a logical, perhaps less oafish focus? Girls do not want to be Hit On; but girls want to be Hit On. “I wish he would just grow some balls and ask me out,” “Ugh, this total douchebag was hitting on me all night.”
And then there are the feminists, and there are the prudish-looking rich girls, and there are the untouchable-looking pretty girls. Do they want to be Hit On? What are the rules surrounding Hitting On those types? Do they mean to project that they don’t want to be Hit On? That they exist at a level “above” Hitting On?
What about unintentional Hitting On?
One time I unintentionally Hit On a girl. Immediately after it occurred (i.e. after I initiated the conversation with this one-liner that I totally did not intend to be a one-liner) the girl and I shared this sort of unspoken knowledge that we were now within, thanks to my remark, a certain context. We both knew that the ‘program’ that informed this context would need to be played out. The program was, of course, the one that had us go through certain amounts of eye contact, certain witticisms, and, basically, an assessment of whether we wanted to fuck each other that night.
This incident happened last weekend, in fact, and I have a girlfriend, which is why I write, truthfully, that I did not mean to hit on this girl; it was just that what I initially said to her put us in this context of “Dude Who Has Just Hit On Girl Finds Girl Similarly Interested.” The entire experience was uncomfortable and somewhat paradoxical, as I recognized that I had unintentionally given us predetermined roles to play – or a decision to make – and so I felt compelled to play it, softly and respectfully, so as to not break social norms/ be awkward, while at the same time being completely uninterested in the girl in a romantic capacity and so wanting to get myself out of the situation. In less self-aggrandizing terms, I unintentionally led her on for a brief moment and faced the task of resolving the consequent problems.
But I have the feeling that Hitting On is generally defined as an uncomfortable, awkward, and predatory thing. But when Hitting On is decidedly not uncomfortable, awkward, and predatory, it cannot be denied that it remains Hitting On (which, if articulated or realized during the actual Hitting On, would, paradoxically, carry with it the uncomfortable/ awkward/ predatory stigma of Hitting On), and it can not be denied that it’s also acceptable, because the person that is Hitting On is Getting It Right. In other words, when a dude succeeds at Hitting On a girl, it doesn’t seem he’s doing any Hitting On whatsoever (even though he is), and so it is OK. But the dude that does not succeed at Hitting On is gross.
And so delineating successful, non-predatory Hitting On with unsuccessful, uncomfortable Hitting On is a highly paradoxical/ confounding exercise. Which is a problem. If we Hit On a girl successfully, she doesn’t know that we’re Hitting On her, and so we’re “faking” her… and this is acceptable, because the whole thing feels good and exciting and positive for everyone. But if we Hit On a girl unsuccessfully, she knows we’re hitting on her, and as such, we aren’t “faking” her, and it’s both apparent that we’re trying to “fake” her and that she isn’t buying it, and so it’s annoying and creepy. It’s a paradox. That, or society wants us to Hit On girls but only if we are going to be successful. Which is like, a tall freaking order.